Spring really is just around the corner and for motorcycle enthusiasts, that means it’s time to ride again. Unfortunately, the rate of motorcycle accidents in Virginia is high, with motorcyclists are almost 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than accident victims in passenger vehicles. Approximately 90 people are killed in motorcycle accidents in Virginia each year.

Motorcycle accident victims who do survive the crash are often left with serious to catastrophic injuries. One of the most common injuries is road rash. While the phrase “road rash” may sound fairly minor, the truth is that these injuries can have a significant impact on the victim’s life.

What Is Road Rash?

Road rash occurs when the body rubs across pavement and rips one or more layers of skin. It happens when the skin comes into contact with a rough surface or when the force applied to the skin is more powerful than the skin’s ability to stretch.

There are three types of road rash a victim can suffer:

  • Avulsion: This type of road rash when the skin is scraped away from the victim’s body.  The more skin that is ripped away, the more severe the injury, exposing fat, muscle, and bones. If the avulsion road rash is severe enough, the victim may even need surgery.
  • Compression: This type of road rash occurs when the victim’s body becomes trapped under the motorcycle or another vehicle. In addition to road rash, the victim can also suffer broken bones and muscle damage.
  • Open wound: This type of road rash occurs when the skin is peeled back and pulled away from the body. There is also a high risk of infection with this type of injury.

Road rash can be very painful for the victim and leave permanent scars. Even a seemingly minor motorcycle accident can result in serious road rash. There are different degrees of road rash, similar to the degrees in burn injuries, and it is critical for victims to receive medical treatments, including flushing and cleaning to remove any debris that has been embedded into the skin. Failure to obtain treatment can result in dangerous infections. Injured victims need professional flushing and cleaning to remove debris embedded deep into the abrasions. Otherwise, infection may occur.

  • First-degree road rash: The skin will turn red, similar to a bad sunburn. There may be minor scraping or no broken skin at all. Victims may still suffer considerable pain. Although this type of road rash usually heals without treatment, it is still important to have the injury checked by a medical professional.
  • Second-degree road rash: The skin is broken, and debris can become lodged in the wound. The rash needs to be flushed and debris removed by a medical professional. The top layers of the skin are affected, but the underlying layers of the skin are not damaged. There is a risk of permanent scarring.
  • Third-degree road rash: This is the most severe. All five layers of the skin are injured, and bone, fat, and muscle may be visible. There is often debris deep in the tissues that require medical attention and infection typically develops. There is permanent scarring with this degree of road rash.

Motorcycle accident victims are entitled to financial compensation for their injuries if the accident was caused by another party or parties. Some of the damages a Virginia motorcycle accident victim may be entitled to include:

  • Medical bills, both present and future
  • Lost wages if victim unable to work while they recover
  • Lost earning potential if the victim is left with permanent disabilities
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Permanent disability
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement

Contact a Dedicated Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing high medical bills and other financial difficulties. Our Virginia accident lawyers understand how overwhelming these cases can be. The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has successfully advocated for many motorcycle accident clients for more than 30 years in getting victims the financial compensation they deserve. We are available to discuss your case. We also offer a free motorcycle injury guide which offers information that you may find helpful.